Building bridges: Soccer diplomacy in divided Cyprus
An initiative to build bridges between the Greek and Turkish speaking communities of ethnically split Cyprus faltered Tuesday after the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots skipped a soccer match over a dispute of the games location.
Mustafa Akinci said he couldn't attend because the small stadium in the mixed village of Pyla was situated within the jurisdiction of Cyprus's internationally recognized, Greek Cypriot-run government.
He said the match should have been held in the United Nations-controlled buffer zone, but that the UN said they couldn't provide security.
He said that meant there would be no reciprocal game held in the island's breakaway north, as was with previous such events designed to foster cooperation.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades - a Greek Cypriot - said the choice of stadium was clear from the outset when organizers had initially...